Wednesday November 25th, 2015 6:43PM

Enfinger conquers Salem for third straight ARCA victory

By Doug Donnelly
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
SALEM, IN - Grant Enfinger made ARCA Racing Series history Sunday afternoon, winning his third race to start the 2014 season, becoming just the second driver in series history to do so.

"The stars are just lining up for us," Enfinger said. "It's pretty unbelievable."

After leading the first 100 laps of the Federated Auto Parts 200 at Salem Speedway in Salem IN, Enfinger moved back to the front late in the race and took the lead when Ken Schrader hit the wall in turn one on the last restart. Schrader was leading when the re-start began with Enfinger in second.

"I wanted the chance to drag race him to the finish," Enfinger said. "I think he just blew a right front there. That's what happened. It was a lot of fun racing up front against him."

Spencer Gallagher finished second, Frank Kimmel third and Cunningham Motorsports drivers Austin Wayne Self (fourth) and Tom Hessert (fifth) rounding out the top five.

Josh Williams, making his season debut in the No. 6 Southwest Florida Cable Construction Ford, finished sixth, just in front of Mason Mitchell. Schrader ended up eighth with Cody Coughlin ninth. Kyle Weatherman finished 10th.

Gallagher was happy with his best finish of the season and tying his career-best.

"I love this place," Gallagher said. "It is such an exciting track. I am happy with how we finished."

Kimmel's team worked late Saturday to make repairs to his car after he hit the wall in qualifying Saturday. He had to start at the back of the field, but was eventually able to make his way to the front.

"I'm sure we passed more cars than anybody," Kimmel said.

Self, in winning the SCOTT Rookie of the Race, pleased a throng of about 50 family members who made the trek to Salem from the French Lick, Indiana area.

"I think I gained a tenth of a second every time they cheered," Self said.

Hessert earned a top five finish despite going a lap down twice.

"We did what we could," he said. "It's a little bit frustrating because we know we could have been better. We know what we have to do when we come back here in the fall."

Enfinger grabbed the lead out of the gate, sailing past pole sitter Justin Boston. He built a huge early lead and led for the first 104 laps until Mitchell grabbed the top spot and he immediately pulled away from the rest of the field until a caution flew on lap 124 for debris.

After a series of cautions and restarts, Schrader finally grabbed the lead. He and Enfinger raced tight for several laps until Karl Weber spun on lap 191, putting out the caution. That came just after Weatherman and Schrader got together, damaging Schrader's right front corner. He stayed on the track rather than pit and hit the wall after his tire finally went down.

"I wanted to get one more," said Schrader, referencing his last win at Salem in 1999.

Enfinger, meanwhile, took the lead and held off Gallagher to win his third consecutive ARCA Racing Series race. He is just the second driver in series history to win the first three ARCA races of the season and first since Ramo Stott accomplished the feat in 1970.

"I can't think Howard and Paula Bixman enough for giving me such great cars and allowing me to do this," Enfinger said. "We have such great equipment. The cars are so good right now and Kelly Kovski made some great calls about the car.

"We were not very good out of the trailer. We cut our first practice short and kind of had to just sit back and re-group and give us a chance to think about it. He had a list of changes and I had a list of changes. It just came together. I was shocked at how well we qualified."

Enfinger now heads to Talladega with a chance to win the first four races of the season - something that has not happened in the 62-year history of the series.

"That's going to be tough," Enfinger said. "You just never know what is going to happen at Talladega. But, we have a great plate program and I know we'll be fast."

ARCA Racing Series
Salem Speedway - Salem IN
Federated Auto Parts 200 - April 27, 2014

1 2 90 Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL 202 Running
2 12 23 Spencer Gallagher/Las Vegas NV 202 Running
3 18 44 Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN 202 Running
4 7 22 Austin Wayne Self/Austin TX 202 Running
5 5 77 Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ 202 Running
6 13 6 Josh Williams/Port Charlotte NC 202 Running
7 4 98 Mason Mitchell/W. Des Moines IA 202 Running
8 6 52 Ken Schrader/Fenton MO 202 Running
9 15 55 Cody Coughlin/Delaware OH 201 Running
10 14 99 Kyle Weatherman/Wentzville MO 201 Running
11 17 2 Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL 201 Running
12 11 17 Kyle Benjamin/Easley SC 201 Running
13 10 46 Brian Finney/Merritt Island FL 200 Running
14 16 3 Karl Weber/Ambia IN 195 Running
15 1 25 Justin Boston/Baltimore MD 177 Running
16 8 10 Blake Hillard/Owensboro KY 157 Suspnsn
17 20 18 Bill Catania/Westfield NY 124 Oil Leak
18 9 68 Michael Lira/Port Orange FL 87 Accident
19 19 11 Ryan Heavner/Lincolnton NC 86 Accident
20 21 73 Dale Shearer/Alhambra IL 79 Vibration
21 3 15 John Wes Townley/Watkinsville GA 77 Accident
22 22 69 Mark Meunier/Louisville KY 10 Brakes
23 28 48 Darrell Basham/Henryville IN 3 Transmssn
24 23 80 Barry Layne/Mims FL 2 Transmssn
25 25 66 Frank Kimmel II/Clarksville IN 1 Handling
26 27 97 Tim Viens/Daytona Beach FL 1 Electrical
27 29 06 James Swanson/Clarksboro NJ 1 Handling
28 24 0 Wayne Peterson/Pulaski TN 1 Handling
29 26 40 Chris Bailey Jr./South Park PA 1 Handling
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 10 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 10 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 10 months ago )
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 10 months ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 10 months ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 10 months ago )
Professional Sports
Garbo, Jr. to compete in NASCAR K&N East with Whelen sponsorship
CHARLOTTE, NC--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- When Marsh Racing and longtime team sponsor Whelen Engineering Company, Inc. got the opportunity to put together a race team for 2015, they looked closely at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
12:00PM ( 10 months ago )
Former NASCAR racer pleads guilty in high-speed chase
12:51PM ( 11 months ago )
Chili Bowl entry list again nearing record 300 mark
TULSA, OK - For the past couple years, the entry list for the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals has flirted with the 300 mark. Once again, the number of teams registering for the indoor Midget event is nearing the three century mark with 285 entries received for the 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
11:59AM ( 11 months ago )
Wolves proving early skeptics wrong
It’s hard to imagine a Buford team having to play with a chip on its shoulder. But if ever there has been a collective group of Wolves that felt the need, the 2015 squad is it.
5:14PM ( 1 hour ago )
Marshall brothers add turkey to Georgia-Ga Tech rivalry
The Georgia-Georgia Tech rivalry this year will feature a Thanksgiving feast that brings opposing players to the same dinner table.
10:52AM ( 7 hours ago )
Boys basketball: Discovery knocks off White County for Turkey Shootout title
Discovery won the boys Turkey Shootout Tournament at Chestatee High Tuesday with a 71-61 victory over White County in the finals.
By The Associated Press
12:16AM ( 18 hours ago )
Boys basketball: Lions take out Vikings for Piedmont Classic crown
The Lakeview Academy boys basketball team knocked off East Hall 87-69 on Tuesday to claim the Piedmont College Hardwood Classic title in Demorest.
By AccessWDUN Staff
12:07AM ( 18 hours ago )
Girls basketball: East Hall knocks off Lakeview for Piedmont title
The East Hall girls basketball team continued its strong start to the season on Tuesday, pushing past Lakeview Academy 61-51 to claim the Piedmont College Hardwood Classic in Demorest.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:58PM ( 18 hours ago )